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UnionBank launches app for MSMEs

UNIONBANK of the Philippines, Inc. unveiled a one-stop app for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) where they can manage their financial operations digitally as businesses move forward in the “new normal.”

The app will help the bank achieve its “moonshot goal” to serve a million MSMEs, UnionBank President and Chief Executive Officer Edwin R. Bautista said during the virtual launch of the app on Tuesday.

“So far we already have 175,000 MSMEs [across our platforms]. [Our goal] is an ambitious number, but we believe it is doable,” Mr. Bautista said.

“What we’ve done is that we’ve digitalized that [onboarding] process so that you can enroll your account and set up all your requirements at the safety of your home and we facilitate those requirements, so that in a matter of hours, you would already be able to use your online banking account,” Antonio Miguel D. Dans II, UnionBank vice-president and lead product manager for Business Banking, said.

A certification from the Department of Trade and Industry is the only documentary requirement needed by MSMEs that operate as sole proprietors, said Jose Paulo R. Soliman, vice president of the bank’s SME segment.

Meanwhile, companies that are established in a corporate setting need to prepare their Securities and Exchange Commission certificate, Board Resolution, among others.

The app features a multi-factor authentication method that allows the use of biometric security and one-time pins. It is also customizable to cater to the specific approval processes of businesses.

It likewise allows for multiple company management for business owners who have different enterprises, Mr. Dans said.

The app performs SWIFT transactions where the codes of foreign banks are already provided for those who have to settle international payments.

“As the country continues to recover, Philippine SMEs need innovative, convenient, and secure banking solutions. Through our platform, we want to empower them to bank the way they want and according to what their business needs,” Mr. Soliman said.

A Business Starter account with the lender’s business banking segment requires an initial deposit and minimum balance of P5,000. Meanwhile, the Business Check type requires an initial deposit and minimum balance of P100,000.

UnionBank’s net profit reached P4.2 billion in the third quarter of 2020, increasing by 11% from the P3.79 billion booked a year ago. This brought its nine-month income up 0.9% to P8.56 billion from P8.482 billion in the same period of 2019.

Shares in the Aboitiz-led lender closed at P71.10 apiece on Tuesday, up by 10 centavos or 0.14%. — L.W.T. Noble

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